Notes on My Progress

I was thinking about writing my April Summary, which I have yet to write, because of the living remodel and the subsequent back injury and long period of intense pain that followed. I realized that my entire attitude has shifted immensely since I started this project.

What I realized is that when I started this project, I worried almost every day about what I would photograph and whether I could photograph this little world for a full year. Now I don’t even think about it. I just take my camera and go. Part of that has to do with the rich new material that spring brings, but I think my attitude has changed as well.

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I notice that now, when I head out to shoot, I just go with the expectation that I will photograph what I see and there will be at least something of interest to shoot. I was looking back in my blog and I was struck with the variety of things I shot and the inventiveness, or maybe it’s just observative-ness, if that’s a word (it’s not.)

There is a flow of new angles, new subject matter, new compositions, that is surprising. I can feel that I’ve become a different kind of photographer, or perhaps just a better photographer. I see compositions and relationships between things that I might have missed before. It’s fair to say that I did miss them, because I know I spent years thinking that there was nothing for me to photograph in my immediate surroundings.

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When I was thinking about starting the project, I remember telling one of the gallery owners that I wasn’t sure that what I was thinking about would be of interest to anyone other than myself. He wisely pointed out that an artist always has to work from what interests them, no matter how prosaic or personal it might be. It’s akin to the advice for writers: “Write what you know.”

Of course, I know this, but still I had doubts about the project. Now I see it as deeply relevant and one of the best things I’ve ever done. You’ll find lots of writing about my doubts in my early posts. Those concerns have disappeared long ago by now.

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That’s all I wanted to write about for now. I’ll return to these general observations from time to time in the blog as the project continues. I’m at about three and a half months now. That’s incredible to me. I foresee summer being difficult, in part because of the relatively unchanging nature of it, also a little because the woods are full of really aggressive deer flies from June until August.

I know that fall will be lovely and interesting. I think the ugly decline into winter won’t be great, but the return of snow will be fine with me. Anyway, there is a lot to look forward to yet and the project is about the progress of a year, and all of the seasons are a part of that. It just happens that Spring is my favorite season.

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